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Gabriel Suarez
03-20-2018, 04:02 PM
Suarez Pistol Kata - Diagonal Lines.

Most people have an incorrect perspective of "kata". A kata is not a gymnastics exercise to impress others or to win prizes, although one might think so watching the modern martial clowns acting it up for the crowd. Their performances have nothing at all to do with anything martial. A kata is not the ridiculous and meaningless dance routines you see at the kid's McDojo.

A Kata is born in battle when a successful teacher arranges a collection of concepts that he has used against other men in a way that his students can practice them alone. A kata is a catalog of combat proven information, techniques and movement patterns distilled into its purest from in a repeatable and established pattern. Practicing them leads to internalized understanding of movement and a mindless execution of technique.

This is the first kata in a series. Named Diagonal Lines for its angular movement and evasive footwork matrix.

The "Embusen", or layout, is of two triangles meeting at their apexes. Simple, yet with many possible variations and interpretations. Like the old karate founders...their successful technique preceded the kata. Those who have been with us for a while will see the same thing here.


https://youtu.be/pT78pD3uzGM

Brent Yamamoto
03-20-2018, 04:11 PM
Fantastic!

Cool to see your version of Bassai Dai also. Doesn't differ much from the one I learned.

Gabriel Suarez
03-20-2018, 04:14 PM
"Storming The Fortress" is one of the oldest Kata from early karate and I wanted to show something old to establish lineage and continuity. If the old masters were around today they would not be messing around with sai, nuchaku or bo...they'd be moving with pistols, shotguns and rifles.

LawDog
03-20-2018, 04:16 PM
Excellent. Well distilled.

m48shooter
03-20-2018, 04:30 PM
Very nice... smooth, violent and economic...

Gabriel Suarez
03-20-2018, 04:32 PM
I will add...everything ...every detail is intentional.

Consider the covered pistol in the 360 scan.
Consider the quick visual self-check.
Consider the intensity of the first two lines of movement and the pause and pace of the third line
Consider the unstructured foot work for the third line of movement back to the starting point.
Consider that the muzzle sweeps over the arm on the holstering process (intentional - what concept or sentiment does this convey?)
Consider the head movement on the first burst off the starting point

These are the important points that you guys know....but outsiders would not know.

Gabriel Suarez
03-20-2018, 04:33 PM
I will add...everything ...every detail is intentional.

Consider the covered pistol in the 360 scan.
Consider the quick visual self-check.
Consider the intensity of the first two lines of movement and the pause and pace of the third line
Consider the unstructured foot work for the third line of movement back to the starting point.
Consider that the muzzle sweeps over the arm on the holstering process (intentional - what concept or sentiment does this convey?)
Consider the head movement on the first burst off the starting point

These are the important points that you guys know....but outsiders would not know.

Varieties may include location of holster...type of holster...type of concealment...but the main application is the same.

Papa
03-20-2018, 04:35 PM
Oh, well done! I'd love to see that from overhead.

Where is Busby Berkeley when you need him?

Gabriel Suarez
03-20-2018, 04:36 PM
Overhead...damn...you know we have a drone....

Papa
03-20-2018, 04:40 PM
Always here for ya, boss.

JD Lester
03-20-2018, 05:02 PM
Great example of "What right looks like".

I don't even want to know how the wind chimes were cued to just sound off.


v/r

JD

Dorkface
03-20-2018, 05:26 PM
The Bassai Dai part doesn't mean as much to me since I don't have the depth of knowledge for it but I understand its point. On the other hand every single movement of diagonal lines has meaning for me. Even the name is a sort of Easter Egg lol. The Get Off the X kata doesn't have the same classic ring to it nor does it have the same mystic lol.

Jim Miller
03-20-2018, 05:54 PM
Excellent!

The points you added for consideration would be 'hidden moves' in the traditional sense, hidden to outsiders, but reminders to us.

I'm taking this out for a test run.

Jim

ISA 6:8

Greg Nichols
03-20-2018, 06:56 PM
It's a damn shame we didn't record CDX09 and myself doing the dance.

Greg Nichols
03-20-2018, 07:03 PM
I love the geometry, flow in motion, fluid movement with hard stops. It's the dance of swords, with guns.

Gabriel Suarez
03-20-2018, 07:19 PM
We have more coming

Changing Levels
Defending The Flank
Stay in the Fight
Crashing Elbows
Cutting Corners

Gabriel Suarez
03-20-2018, 07:23 PM
Had a discussion with Brent this evening. He correctly noted that what we are doing is setting down tje DNA of the system and creating a legacy and lineage for those that follow.

Brent incidentally is working on a close quarters kata.

I like where this is going.

Greg Nichols
03-20-2018, 08:00 PM
I want the opportunity at a fluid close striking kata

Marco Innocenti
03-20-2018, 08:18 PM
Thanks much for this.

Please do the overhead.

And as mentioned, the chimes were the “just right” touch.

It is as if the Wind was smiling on you, as if it knew something special and dangerous was being born...

Jon Payne
03-20-2018, 08:22 PM
I am really digging where this is going. Thank you Gabe and Brent for being the tip of the spear.; or should I say Naginata? [emoji144]*♀️


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paknheat
03-20-2018, 08:25 PM
AWSOME job there Gabe. Thanx for all the hard work & posting the vid.


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Dorkface
03-20-2018, 10:07 PM
That sweeping of the arm confused me. Checking the holster is clear makes sense. I guess it says I have my finger of the trigger.

Do you see any mag or handgun holsters on his belt? When might something like that be the preferred method and how would you put a gun in the waistband?

As for sweeping the arm on purpose... so many things are embodied in that simple action. I don't recall seeing them recently but Gabe has modernized coopers rules so they fit the reality of fighting. Its also a nice subtle middle finger to all those that dwell in mediocrity who will lose their minds over it because it breaks one of Coopers rules. It also speaks to the persons confidence in skill that they know they aren't a mouth breather that will suddenly shoot themselves due to lack of control. Where is the muzzle pointed if you are sitting down while carrying AIWB? Not at stuff people want to usually destroy. There are other things within the same sentiment I can think of. What do others think?

Christopher Calhoun
03-20-2018, 10:31 PM
Man. Makes me want to dig out my Keith Yates book and move my coffee table out of the way.


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Papa
03-20-2018, 10:33 PM
Do you see any mag or handgun holsters on his belt? When might something like that be the preferred method and how would you put a gun in the waistband?

As for sweeping the arm on purpose... so many things are embodied in that simple action. I don't recall seeing them recently but Gabe has modernized coopers rules so they fit the reality of fighting. Its also a nice subtle middle finger to all those that dwell in mediocrity who will lose their minds over it because it breaks one of Coopers rules. It also speaks to the persons confidence in skill that they know they aren't a mouth breather that will suddenly shoot themselves due to lack of control. Where is the muzzle pointed if you are sitting down while carrying AIWB? Not at stuff people want to usually destroy. There are other things within the same sentiment I can think of. What do others think?

If you carry guns in harm's way you will sweep someone or something you don't want to shoot.

So don't shoot unless you mean to.

Ted Demosthenes
03-20-2018, 11:53 PM
Great presentation of fundamentals!! Will work on it before SG class.
Seeing the crashing elbows kata as a 0-5 module.

psalms23dad
03-21-2018, 05:48 AM
I won't "watch it". I'll be studying it.

Thanks.

RobertM
03-21-2018, 06:33 AM
Outstanding work. Already studying and working this.

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 07:06 AM
Thanks gents.

Crashing Elbows is the working title of a o-5 presentation.

And yes...there was no holster in evidence in the first showing of the kata.

Brent Yamamoto
03-21-2018, 09:54 AM
If you added UTM and a target would that add value?


Karate training is split into 3 broad categories. You can think of this as the Karate Trinity.

Kihon - most people translate this as "basics". I prefer the term "fundamentals". When you see pictures or video of Karate students throwing punches from a low horse stance, that's an example of kihon. Mr. Miyagi making Daniel-san wax cars and paint fences is another example. Hitting the bag, focus mitts, kick shields, etc. Much of what you see in a Rocky training montage would be considered kihon.

For the gun fighter, the equivalent to kihon is dry practice. Using UTM/SIRT or even live fire drills would also fit here...they are the equivalent of hitting the bag.

Kata - This is a sequence of movements that codify the fundamental principles/techniques of a system. They aren't meant to be considered as "one fight" from start to finish, but to convey ideas, principles and techniques. They are meant as a transmission method to convey the DNA of the system. They don't cover EVERYTHING, but they encapsulate the most important elements. And they are more than just a bunch of basics cobbled together willy nilly. They're not meant to look cool, but to transmit what is MOST IMPORTANT.

Karate kata are performed by a single person. They are meant to be practiced anywhere, without the use of equipment. By constant practice of the fundamentals in a coherent, systematized way, movement patterns and fighting skills become unconscious and repeatable under pressure. Weapons kata, such as sword or spear are no different. Arts such as Aikido and Judo also have kata, but they tend to include two or more people, due to the nature of those techniques. (A pistol ground fighting kata would probably require two people.)

In all cases, the APPLICATION of the techniques within kata must be deeply understood. Without this understanding, kata is nothing more than dance.

Kumite - This includes any kind of fighting drill that incorporates partners. A fighting drill might be limited to a few specific techniques, or it could be completely random and free. In the gun fighter's realm, this would include any kind of force on force drills.


Most modern karate splits this trinity apart. Almost to the point they are completely different tracks of study. Kata becomes completely separate and disassociated from fighting...it becomes nothing more than a dance. Fundamentals are practiced for how they LOOK, and not how they WORK.

Real Karate does not split this trinity. Each piece may be trained separately to focus on specific skills, but they are CONNECTED. In my view, the body movement of kata should be no different from how we really fight. Kata is not a performance...it's meant to teach you how to fight.

There's a reason Kata has been called the heart of Karate. I think our gun fighting kata could also become the heart of our training and fighting method.

Dorkface
03-21-2018, 10:20 AM
Thank you Brent. That explination serves very well on how everything ties together. Its all stuff that I knew on some level but have never seen presented in this manor.

Traditionally are Kata set in stone? I would think flexability in practice would be natural. As an example if it was cold outside and one was wearing a hoodie the Kata would just change organically to clearing the cover garment during it. This would also serve to show where a deep knowedge of the material would guide things.

Sam Spade
03-21-2018, 10:34 AM
Traditionally, are they set in stone? That is a can o' worms. Yes, as soon as they were codified, they were set in stone. Coincidentally, that's the moment where "pretty" began it's acendency. While things were a form of shadow boxing, pretty had less pull and "henka" addressed the variants due to circumstances.

Brent Yamamoto
03-21-2018, 11:08 AM
Thank you Brent. That explination serves very well on how everything ties together. Its all stuff that I knew on some level but have never seen presented in this manor.

Traditionally are Kata set in stone? I would think flexability in practice would be natural. As an example if it was cold outside and one was wearing a hoodie the Kata would just change organically to clearing the cover garment during it. This would also serve to show where a deep knowedge of the material would guide things.

I typed a bunch of stuff but lost it.

I'll try to expand later but I would say no, don't change kata. You can ADJUST it (drawing from concealment, wearing a coat, holsters in different locations, practicing in different terrain, etc.) but that is different than CHANGING it.

Think of kata as a RECIPE. Don't fuck with the recipe or else it becomes a completely different dish. A little more salt, a little more pepper...this would be an adjustment to particular necessities but it's not changing the recipe.

Almost all the Karate kata of today have been greatly changed from their original form (for various reasons but mostly for the shallow reason of looking pretty). Because a few generations of people didn't understand what they were doing, we don't know exactly what the original kata looked like. (I practice what I believe to be as close to original as possible, but I'm under no illusion that I will ever know for sure...we just do the best we can). Looking pretty is fine as a by-product of good movement, but that is not the goal of a fighting system.

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 11:17 AM
Traditionally, are they set in stone? That is a can o' worms. Yes, as soon as they were codified, they were set in stone. Coincidentally, that's the moment where "pretty" began it's acendency. While things were a form of shadow boxing, pretty had less pull and "henka" addressed the variants due to circumstances.

Actually...historically speaking, the kata must be set in stone, otherwise everyone's opinion is equally valid and that is simply not the case. The purpose of the kata is to codify what we know to work, and to present it in a logical and repeatable manner so the system can be taught to others...and as I near my sixth decade and know the end of the race is closer than the beginning of it, so the system will outlive its founder. You will not get that if every student decides his view is different. To an unproven student with a different POV I would say, "Go win a few gunfights (win them by killing the other man decisively using the methods you wish to teach) and then come talk to me about changing the system".

The historical development was thus.

Founder of the system gets into a fight and wins using a concept, strategy, or technique.
Founder repeats this several times developing a theme for the system (Small Circle JJ, Hard-Soft karate, etc.)
Founder teaches others these techniques as individual actions. Those actions are then trained against others with varying resistance.
(It should be known that in that era, an injury such as a broken arm could be life changing or ending, so care was taken to train without injury).
As the system develops, and the danger of not including all parts of it, a Kata is created which is simply a collection of what he knows to that point.
Students knowing the applications FIRST then have a different take on the Kata than an outsider would.
Kata was a training aid that allowed repetitive training and a drastically increased number of repetitions.

For those interested I suggest a couple of books - The Way Of Kata, and The Bubishi...for a thorough historical explanation of the development.

Now...flash to the end of the conflagration of WW2 and to Okinawa. The Okinawans didn't like the Japanese and they suffered greatly as the war ended. Faced with the reality that their economy was in shambles and the only way to feed themselves was to teach these big Americans their Okinawan Te, they began to teach US GIs. The Okinawans spoke no English and the Americans spoke no Okinawan. So it was very much a "watch me...copy what I do". Then once the GI's seemed to get it, "You...grab shirt...watch kata".
To put it into perspective, imagine being dropped in the middle of Malaysia and needing to teach Malaysian IPSC guys what we do and why - without knowing a word of their language.

The Americans took what they learned home to the USA and framed it what they knew...US Military organization.

I will add that the kata - insofar as Karate - lost muchof their value once they reached US shores, few instructors knew what they meant, and they began to be seen as athletic endeavors. And then the gay spectre of competition reared its head. I have written that competitive efforts always water down a martial system and degrade its applications. Fairbairn agreed. Watch an original Kata...one that was not "updated" or "improved", and you will see very conservative movements...like my expression of Bassai and like Diagonal Lines. Simple...valuable...and filled with true fight applications.

When competition became the focus, Kumite (combat application) became a game of tag...even if they tagged you hard...it was still a game...and kata became a venue to express athletic aesthetics. Neither of these were the object of the exercise originally...but that is the object of many karate systems today.

So while THIS FOUNDER is alive, these are set in stone, although each student will manifest the concepts and techniques differently. My Bassai will look differently than Brent's, and Eric Tull's Bassai may require the clearing of an entire city block...but conceptually it is still the same thing.

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 11:20 AM
Soon I will redo the video and actually publish it more broadly. I will show it open carry from front, back and overhead, as well as concealed front, back and overhead. There will be kata for every concept and application we have. And while we will publish one or two openly here, the rest will not be free. They will be taught in an upcoming class that will cover this sort of thing as well as be available for download on a streaming service we will offer.

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 11:21 AM
For your reading

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001S2RDIQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51HKXN4Sm2L.jpg

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 11:22 AM
For historical reference

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=bubishi

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41-+7Ttt87L._AC_US218_.jpg

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 11:28 AM
I will add this - for the Karateman -

If your Kumite does not look like your Kata, your Kumite is not emulating a real fight. A mutually agreed upon duel by physical equals is not a street fight. A street fight is what Karate is for.

Brent Yamamoto
03-21-2018, 11:34 AM
For those interested I suggest a couple of books - The Way Of Kata, and The Bubishi...for a thorough historical explanation of the development.


This one?
55275

Yes, that's a good book and as I recall does a great job explaining many things about kata.

I've trained with Kris and Lawrence a lot, they are based in Seattle. Kris and I come from different backgrounds, but we eventually found the same teacher...the guy that taught Kris the magic was at my dojo last night.

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 11:42 AM
I will add this - for the Karateman -

If your Kumite does not look like your Kata, your Kumite is not emulating a real fight. A mutually agreed upon duel by physical equals is not a street fight. A street fight is what Karate is for.

And adding again - I have studied this in depth as Karate was what began all of this back in 1970. The entire "self-perfection" spiritual stuff that gets thrown in is a modern affectation. The founders were fighting men, and lived their lives fighting. They would have eaten David Carradine alive, and used his bones to pick their teeth.

The whole "other than killing" stuff was added when Karate was taken into the Okinawan and Japanese school systems by a man named Funakoshi and needed to be made, using the modern analogy - politically correct. As I recall...Motobu, another founder, had little kindness toward Funakoshi and considered what he was doing as foolish and a waste.

As a comparison...imagine taking what we do and using purple nerf guns, and big clown helmets. And using that for force on force where you could not get any closer than ten feet and everyone began with the nerf gun in hand and had five shots. And it was "played" on a big water mattress. You would scoff at the ridiculous antics, and call it as one man did, "Parlor Karate". In our context that would be "Gay Gunfighting"

chad newton
03-21-2018, 11:45 AM
Lol.......

Brent Yamamoto
03-21-2018, 11:58 AM
My teacher wrote the forward for Kris's book Way of Sanchin:
55277

55278

Sanchin is an example of a kata that teaches fundamental principles. You'll never see it in a competition...honestly it's rather boring to watch. But because the "fancy stuff" is left out, it allows you to focus on foundational items. Body structure, Iron Shirt (those of you who've punched me understand this one), unbendable arm, etc. This is why you don't change kata to make it look cool. It distracts from the real purpose.

When I fight, I wouldn't say that I look like I'm doing Sanchin, but I'm absolutely applying the principles it teaches.

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 12:05 PM
This is why you don't change kata to make it look cool. It distracts from the real purpose.

Cue Instructor Zero or Taran Butler......

Dorkface
03-21-2018, 12:15 PM
Thank you Gabe and Brent. That answers my question perfectly. Very minor adjustments, holster placement like Gabe origionally mentioned, and cover garments are the only variation I could ever see adjusting in Diagonal Lines.

Brent Yamamoto
03-21-2018, 12:59 PM
Kata teaches you HOW TO MOVE. That's pretty obvious, but it's also a lot deeper than just what you see; it's more than just "put your fight foot here and your left foot there". I hate to use the word "internal" because it sounds like mystical, Use the Force Luke bullshit. But for lack of a better word, internal will have to do.

Things like how and when to shift your weight. Where your intent should be focused. Which muscles to relax and which to contract, and when. Unbendable arm, visualization, etc. just for a few examples.

Kata also includes APPLICATION. How a technique or skill is actually applied in battle may or may not be obvious from simply watching the kata being performed. This is where visualization comes in...once you get the movement and technique down, you need to begin visualizing using it against an opponent. Practiced correctly, kata becomes a very powerful training tool.


You can of course practice the individual applications against a training partner.

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 01:18 PM
Imagine Diagonal Lines WITHOUT your understanding of Get Off The X, and the WHY of what we do? It makes no sense. Add what we know and it makes perfect sense.

Gabriel Suarez
03-21-2018, 03:53 PM
From a textcussion with Payne.

Its easier to teach a fighter the gun, than to teach a shooter to fight.

Dpswift
03-21-2018, 06:17 PM
This is what has been missing (at least for me) from most training. Simply brilliant, Gabe.

WOLF220
03-21-2018, 07:00 PM
I have been eagerly waiting for this since it was first mentioned. It does not disappoint. Thanks for this Gabe, I will be practicing this in the garage tomorrow. I may make a video and post it here when I think I have feel for the movements.

Christopher Calhoun
03-21-2018, 08:34 PM
I honestly never considered kata would catch up to gunfighting but, it makes sense because it IS gun...FIGHTING. Just like karate. I'm glad you stressed every move has a purpose because people not familiar with karate may not understand.

As a youth, I never understood why I was folding my arms before dwi-ro dor-a (I will probably have to look up the spelling so forgive me) and thought it was for show. In reality, the folds, steps, punches, etc. had very specific purposes for each. I didn't understand any of that until I was near 18 but that was because I focused on fighting more than learning the art. When I graduated from high school in 2000, I took the art more seriously.

ODG
03-22-2018, 08:13 AM
It is interesting that, even though your background is karate, the gun kata looked just like bagua.

Gabriel Suarez
03-22-2018, 08:18 AM
It is interesting that, even though your background is karate, the gun kata looked just like bagua.

I studied more than karate:naughty:

Brent Yamamoto
03-22-2018, 11:30 AM
It is interesting that, even though your background is karate, the gun kata looked just like bagua.
To Gabe's point, I'll add that what most people think of as Karate is the "kindergarten karate" that they see in tournament competition. That perception will only deepen once Karate enters the Olympics (I'm told that's happening at the next summer Olympics in Japan).

When you actually look at how techniques are applied to bad guys, applications that come straight from kata, it looks nothing like tournament kata. If I had a dollar for every time I've been told that my karate looks like Kempo, or Wing Chun, X...

Ok, I probably wouldn't have enough to buy a bottle of my favorite scotch, but it'd be close.

Brent Yamamoto
03-22-2018, 11:45 AM
If all goes well this weekend I will post a video for the second kata...

valian
03-22-2018, 11:47 AM
Beginning this week I will add these to my karate kata practice. Been working Jion hard this week. Saturday a.m. is kata/knives etc. Afterwards is shooting practice. Suarez gun kata will be the perfect Segway between. Probably work it in an evening or 2 during the week before or after daily shooting as well.

Well done and Domo arragatto Taipan!

Gabriel Suarez
03-22-2018, 11:49 AM
http://the-martial-way.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/kyokushinkai-zarei.jpg

barnetmill
03-22-2018, 10:08 PM
I will watch it a couple more times. I learned that form or kata from two different two schools, one a korean style and the other was Shotokan. The shotokan school was under Takayuki Mikami in New Orleans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takayuki_Mikami
Both styles taught it a little differently adapting it to their own particular styles. Gabe's version has a much higher stance than what we were taught, but maybe it is more relevant to the handgun. I think this is wonderful idea of adapting these basic moments to fighting with weapons. I do not know very well the history of these basic kata. Some of them could be very old. It was my understanding that the Japanese developed karate from a system of fighting they encountered while occupying the Okinawan chain of Islands. That form of fighting was supposedly gained by the Okinawans from dealing with chinese traders (perhaps pirates) with the original beginnings being on the asian mainland. It was well known for using improvised weapons. My understanding is that previous to Okinawan karate the Japanese samurai houses had their own unique fighting arts of which I know very little about and they were not ineffective arts.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/Sensei_mikami.jpg

Gabriel Suarez
03-23-2018, 06:48 AM
Barnet...I will start a different thread on that very fascinating subject.

Jon Payne
03-23-2018, 10:39 AM
Imagine Diagonal Lines WITHOUT your understanding of Get Off The X, and the WHY of what we do? It makes no sense. Add what we know and it makes perfect sense.

What youíre delving into now is why Gabe Suarez and Suarez International has been a perfect fit for me in my training and teaching career. Iím eating this up like barbecued bacon.


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Blacked out
03-24-2018, 10:23 AM
I have not been trained in any kata but I have watched your video several times now and I see how the movements directly associate with what is talked about here. I will watch it several more times and put this into my dry fire routine in the basement where i have more room to move. This will be an interesting series that is definitely out of my knowledge base and comfort zone. I come to this site this exact reason.

yanert98
04-03-2018, 10:19 AM
Studying Diagonal Lines has re-energized my dryfire training.
Thank you for putting this together -- And please keep them coming!

Faramir2
11-21-2018, 08:52 PM
I joined the forum for the sole purpose of making two remarks: 1) As a long-time Tae Kwon Do artist who learned a sportier style but has retained what my dad and I call the "mean" parts of the forms (or patterns, or poomsae, or kata, whatever you like), I appreciate deeply the efficiency and simplicity of Diagonal Lines, and Watch Your Back, both of which I'm working on absorbing into my muscle memory and databank of techniques, should I ever need to employ my pistol "for real." 2) Bassai Dai (called in my school of TKD simply "Bassai") is my favorite form, because it's aggressive.